REVELATIONS OF THE SIMIAN DEITY

AND I SAW THERE

THE TOWERING IMAGE OF A KNEELING APE,

FIXED TO THE EARTH BY ITS KNEES.

ITS HAIRY PAWS RESTED BACKSIDE-DOWN, PLACED UPON EITHER KNEE.

APPROACHING THESE FOUNDATIONS, I SHOOK WITH FEAR

BUT WAS UNABLE TO SWAY MYSELF FROM ITS LURE.

FROM ITS MOUTH CAME LIES AND ACCUSATIONS. BLASPHEMIES AND VILE CURSES…

WHEN I WAS CLOSE ENOUGH TO SATISFY THE POSSESSOR OF THIS IMAGE,

ITS RIGHT PAW DID OPEN UP AND HE SPOKE AGAIN,

“ALE, IN YOUR RIGHT HAND IS A HOOK. YOU ARE BOUND TO THIS DUTY.”

AND SURELY, THERE WAS NO HOOK IN MY PALM, BUT THE APE ITSELF REVEALED

A HOOK IN ITS OWN PALM, BLOOD-STAINED LIKE THE TRAIL OF A LONE TEAR

HAD BEEN TRACED.

THE IMAGE BECAME LOUDER AND MORE COMMANDING, WITH AN AUTHORITY AND A RAGE…

“ALE! YOUR LEFT HAND IS FREE! USE YOUR LEFT HAND.”

I LOOKED TO MY LEFT HAND, AND DID SEE A FISHHOOK, BARELY PIERCING

THE CALLOUS BENEATH MY SMALLEST FINGER.

I LIFTED MY FACE BACK TO THE TOWERING IMAGE,

AND WAS UNABLE TO SPEAK ALOUD.

IT BECAME ANGRIER STILL, “ALE, WHAT WILL YOU DO NOW?”

I WANTED TO ANSWER BRAVELY, BUT I COULDN’T FORCE MY TONGUE THROUGH MY TEETH,

SO I SHOOK MYSELF AWAKE, TO CONSIDER THIS NEW PLAYER AND WHAT HE’S ASKING ME FOR.

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